Magazine article The Quill

'Ever Better' Bethea

Magazine article The Quill

'Ever Better' Bethea

Article excerpt

"Meliora," Latin for "ever better." That's what motivates April Bethea to do what she does.

These words of wisdom came from a trainer at a fellowship program she attended, and she has held them close ever since. Being intentional about her decisions to try new things has led down many different paths. That fellowship helped her learn skills to share with her colleagues right away, but it also gave her the self-awareness that someday she would like to lead a newsroom.

For Bethea, an intro to journalism course in high school sparked a long-term love. The field was a place where she could use her natural curiosity to ask questions about the world around her and get the answers she was looking for. She studied journalism and political science at UNC-Chapel Hill while working for The Daily Tar Heel, but one of the biggest decisions that shaped Bethea's journalism career happened outside the classroom.

As a freshman, she joined the National Association of Black Journalists and was selected to be part of their intern group placed in newsrooms around the U.S. that summer. The program allowed her to dive into journalism and learn the business at a young age. From that point, NABJ was full of new experiences for her to discover.

After graduation she joined her hometown paper, The Charlotte Observer, in 2005 and worked there for eight years as a reporter covering education, county government, breaking news and general assignment before shifting to the online team working with the website and social media.

The most important parts of her work, to Bethea, are the readers and the community. Her goal is to empower people with information about their communities so they can rely on journalists as watchdogs and observers, but they can also become watchdogs themselves.

In her time covering county government, she wanted to get news to the people in more ways than just the paper. …

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